What is Diaphragm Paralysis?

Diaphragm Paralysis is the loss of control of one or both hemidiaphragms caused by a traumatic injury or disease process which decreases or terminates the impulse of respiratory stimuli originating in the brain. Causes of diaphragm paralysis include, but are not limited to:

  • Central neurological disorders such as a brain or brainstem stroke
  • Arnold Chiari, syringomyelia, poliomyelitis
  • Direct trauma to the phrenic nerve from surgery, radiation or tumor
  • Autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis
  • Viral or bacterial infections such as meningitis
  • Diseases caused by insect bites such as Lyme Disease

Chest X-Ray showing elevated right hemidiaphragm

Pacemakers for Diaphragm Paralysis

Diaphragm pacing is generally indicated for those prospective candidates who have functional lungs and diaphragm muscle and intact or repaired phrenic nerve(s).

Prospective candidates with diseases in which the phrenic nerves have completely degenerated, such as advanced ALS, or the diaphragm muscle has irreversibly atrophied, such as muscular dystrophy, are not candidates for diaphragm pacing.

Success Stories

Tina

Tina lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. Tina suffered with pneumonia for nine months starting in October 2008. Doctors later diagnosed Tina with... Read More

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